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Multi-generational safe drinking water contract

With a multi-generational safe drinking water contract you compel the local authorities to handle local and drinking water in a sustainable manner. This implies that you and your children (the next generation) will still be able, after many decades, to use the same amount of drinking water with the same quality as today.

An multi-generational contract is a principles declaration, i.e. a binding, written agreement between two parties, and requires the following prerequisites:

  1. Two contracting parties (e.g. a school class and the municipal councillors)
  2. A mutual interest and agreement in having clean drinking water for multiple decades to come with concrete requirements/obligations.

Contents of a multi-generational safe drinking water contract

  1. The aim of the contract (e.g. clean drinking water for the next three decades) and the means by which it can be achieved (e.g. a sustainable use of the water resources)
  2. The names of the contracting parties (e.g. students, municipal councillors)
  3. The obligations which have to be fulfilled (e.g. water protection measures)

Structure

  1. The introduction, the ‘preamble’, describes the idea which stands behind the multi-generational contract.
  2. The chapters, the so-called sections (EU countries) or articles (CH), constitute the body of the contract.
  3. The text of the contract is followed at the end by the date and place where it was signed.
  4. All parties sign the contract in person.

Provide each party with at least one copy for the handwritten signatures.

Elaborate the contract yourselves on the basis of your demands and requests. Our sample contract may help you.

Be well prepared for the first meeting with the mayor:

Describe your concern and the idea of a multi-generational safe drinking water contract briefly (!) and point out why you think it is important to sign it. Also provide the mayor with a written summary (incl. contact address).

Make sure that the technical devices relevant for your presentation are available.

Note down the mayor’s reactions to your concern and ask for clarity if you do not fully understand his or her answers. This will be helpful for subsequent discussions within the team.

After the first appointment you should discuss the reactions of the local authorities and plan further actions.

If the local authorities do not want to sign the contract, you may lobby for your concern by collecting signatures or by finding a prominent person who will support you. Send a short article to a local newspaper or organise an information boothfurther ideas from A to Z.

If the local authorities are willing to sign the contract, revise the wording until it is agreeable for both parties. Invite the media and all involved persons to the official signing (perhaps with a water party). Publish an article about the signing in the ‘Book of the River’.